I am more than looking forward to the 2009 NFL season, for two main reasons:
1. The NY Jets will dominate the AFC East
2. The New England Patriots will be the third-best team in the AFC East
The Patriots have put all the eggs in Tom Brady's rehabbing basket. As shown in years past, QBs typically need a full season of play to get them back to where they were before the ACL injury; also throw in an MCL injury and I'm highly doubtful Tom will be in true form for the 2009 season. With Tom going on 32 and a new demanding wifey, I question the Matt Cassell deal.
Before all you "die-hard" Patriots fans get your panties in a bunch, you do have some great upsides. The Patriots' aging defense will be returning, including all their Pro Bowl defenders, which includes nobody. They have made some big defensive signings in the offseason to improve their aging "D," I just haven't heard of any yet so feel free to comment below to fill me in. The Chargers, Jets, Dolphins, and Steelers all lit the Pats up last year for 30 or more points.
The Jets have loaded up their already impressive defense and added future Coach of the Year Rex Ryan. The Jets defense was off to a blazing start last year but fizzled in the end, something that will not happen this year. The Patriots O-line was helpful last year, letting Cassell showcase his scrambling ability, something that Brady does not have, especially coming off a serious knee injury. I would like to introduce Tom to Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, and many others who will sack him, standing up, of course.
As many writers have astutely pointed out, the Jets have a QB dilemma. Granted, Brady is better than any of our current options, but our top AFC rusher, Thomas Jones, and the always impressive Neon Leon will outrush the rest of the AFC again. The Jets O-line, which is stacked with talent, is only going to improve on last year's great overall performance.
I'm personally pulling for Brett Ratliff because I think he has the biggest upside. Not only did he put on a show last preseason against various cart pushers and window washers, he also resides in Chico, CA, which happens to be where Aaron Rodgers was from; destiny is definitely in play here. The Jets QB basically will have to hand the ball off and throw the ball about 15 times per game, a football model that has worked very well for the Ravens. Besides, Brett the Jet is such a great T-shirt.
Let us not forget where Brady came from: a sixth-round draft pick who backed up Brian Griese. If Tom could do it, why not our Brett?
I do believe the Jets defense will be ferocious and tops in the league.
I do believe the Patriots defense will continue to play themselves down in the ranks.
I do believe the Patriots offense will suffer from Tom's play and Randy Moss will cry.
I do believe the Jets offense will struggle at times but will be bailed out by their defense.
I can't believe Brady married Gisele Bundchen. Great for his personal life but it will have serious on-the-field effects. How could he possibly get her out of his head to play professional level football?
I have no facts to back up these claims, but they will be true. I implore you to come back and comment during the season.